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Organisation, Human resources

Information about the Coronavirus and travelling to/from China - update 14/2

14 February 2020

At the moment there are no known cases of persons infected with the new Corona virus (nCoV) in the Netherlands. Leiden University follows the recommendations of the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment and follows the information from comparable institutes abroad.

UPDATE 14 February: Leiden University closely follows the information from the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment RIVM. There have been no changes in measures in the past week. The information below still stands.

On January the 30st the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the international emergency situation. This does not influence the policies of Leiden University, except for travelling to and from China.

Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken updated the travel advices for China: the province Hubei, where the city of Wuhan is situated, is now code red (“do not travel”), the rest of China is now code orange (“only necessary travelling”). This means that students from Leiden University do not travel to China and students that are in China will be called back. Extra costs will be compensated.

Staff members with plans to travel to China need the university board to approve the trip, but travelling to China at this time is not recommended.

For the time being, there are no travel restrictions outside of China and no special measures are being taken. It is, however, advised to take everyday preventive measures to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses (viruses that cause infections on the respiratory tract). These measures are:

  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing
  • Wash or disinfect your hands after coughing or sneezing
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if water and soap are not available
  • Clean and disinfect regularly touched objects and surfaces
  • Stay at home when you are sick.

If you have traveled to China in the last 14 days or you have been in contact with a person proved to have 2019-nCoV and you feel sick with fever, cough or breathing problems, the advice is:

  • Stay home, do not travel when feeling sick.
  • Seek medical help. Before you go to a doctor's office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent trip and your symptoms.
  • Avoid contact with others.
  • Do not travel if you are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Wash your hands after coughing or sneezing.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if water and soap are not available.

More information at the website of the CDC

FAQ

Below you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions concering the corona virus outbreak. These will be updated when new information comes available from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and/or the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment. If you have any other questions, you can send an e-mail to veiligheidszaken@bb.leidenuniv.nl

Should I be worried about coming into contact with students or employees who recently returned from China? Should they be quarantined?
No, there is no need to be worried about these contacts. The situation does however emphasize the importance of the arrival briefings we give to new students and employees. It is important that they know who to notify when they are sick. At this moment there is no reason to quarantine anyone.

The only exemptions are EU citizens who are being evacuated from Hubei province by the EU. These measures are imposed by the government, and involves no employees or students from Leiden University.

Some incoming students have been ordered in China that they should be quarantined upon arrival - or at least understood so. Is this correct?
No, there are no people quarantined in the Netherlands - except for the above mentioned evacuated people from Hubei province.

Should students or employees who recently visited Hubei province or China report this somewhere?
No. There is no obligation to report or get tested for people who visited China. If someone feels sick or feverish, he or she should consult his general practicioner or the Huisartsenpost (outside office hours).

Should students and employees cancel planned travels to China?
Travelling to China was already discouraged, and now the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also adjusted their travel advice for China. Students are no longer allowed to go to or stay in China (see next question). Employees should consult their directorate or faculty board on their travel plans. You can check the updated statement of the Ministry here (in Dutch).

Does Leiden University have contact with all the students who are currently abroad?
Yes, our exchange officers are in contact with all our students. We will help students who are currently in China  to return to the Netherlands as of 31 January, as a result of the travel advice issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 30 January.

Will the university support students who are obliged to return from China?
As is customary in case of a changed travel advice by the Ministry, our exchange officers will help our students return to the Netherlands as soon and safe as possible. The University will take care of any necessary additional expenses.

How does the University follow the latest developments?
Our safety officers monitor the website and statements of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM). Our own Health, Safety and Evironment Office also closely follows the national and international developments.

Travel advices and business travels

Travellers going outside the Netherlands should consult always the latest travel advice issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Students are no longer allowed to go to or stay in China (see next question). Employees should consult their directorate or faculty board on their travel plans.

General rules and regulations for business travelss can be found under Terms of Employment.

All safety and health advices for students can be found under Studying Abroad.

In case of an emergency, students and employees can call +31 71 527 6666 (operated 24/7). 

Faculty coordinators and managers can consult Leo Harskamp (1191) or Jaap van Zaanen (3802) for questions or advice, or send an e-mail to veiligheidszaken@bb.leidenuniv.nl 

 

 

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